The Ancient Capital - Kharkhorin

Kharkhorin was major trading route of the ancient Silk Road

The Ancient Capital - Kharkhorin

Central Mongolia

  • Family holiday
4 Days
0 Flights
Child friendly

This short excursion to the ancient capital of Kharkhorin will give you a new perspective on the nature of the Mongol Empire. Not much remains today of Karakorum, as it was destroyed by clan infighting and it’s materials were used to build the Erdene Zuu Monastery. In an empire of nomads, very few permanent structures were ever erected, and the impermanence of cities and monuments was of little significance to these warriors of the steppe. You will experience the unique setting of Kharkhorin, located on one of the major trading routes of the ancient Silk Road, and visit nearby places that will give you further insight into the natural and human history of Mongolia.

Itinerary

Day 1. Ulaanbaatar – Mongol Nomads – Khustai Nuruu

  • Lunch
  • Dinner

We meet our local guide at the hotel lobby, as we drive back in time, to a place that recreates the lives of Mongolian nomads at the beginning of the 20th century. This was when Mongolia gained its independence from the Qing Dynasty and established itself as a reemerging nation under a living god-king. Here we shall attend a demonstration of how the nomads lived their lives during this era, and learn about some traditions that are carried on to this very day. After lunch in the camp we arrive at Khustaiin Nuruu Strictly Protected Area (SPA). The SPA was established as part of a unique project to reintroduce the world’s last surviving wild horses back to their natural environment. On the brink of extinction during the last century, only a very few Takhi or Przewalski’s horses were left in zoos around Europe. This graceful steppe horse was returned to Mongolia, and today, thanks to this special project, two herds again roam the Mongolian steppes. Overnight in a ger camp- the cozy yet simple, Mongolian version of a lodge, consisting of traditional felt-made dwellings the nomads of Central Asia often refer to as yurt.

Day 2. Khustaiin Nuruu Spa - Khar Bukh Balgas - Ugii Lake

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

We Leave Khustaiin Nuruu, and continue our journey west as we arrive at Khar Bukh Balgas. Built during the Kitan Period, at about 1000 AD, this was a part of a chain of fortresses that were used to govern and control the northern region and borders of the Khitan (Kidan) State. Upon arrival to the site, we will explore the ruins, and learn about the various kingdoms that dominated Mongolia at that era. In the afternoon we arrive at the shores of Ugii Lake, where many nomadic families spend the summer. We will take a walk around the lake shores, and spend the afternoon with a nomadic family, learning about their unique way of life. Overnight in ger camp.

Day 3. Ugii Lake – Khoshoo Tsaidam – Kharkhorin

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Leaving the lake’s shores, we drive to the site known as Khoshoo Tsaidam. This is where a Russian explorer and archeologist discovered two massive tombstones back in the late 19th century. The tombstones, built in honor of two Turkic war lords, Bilge Khagan and his brother Kul Tigin, depicting the glorious days of the Turkic people who ruled the region for centuries, until eventually subjecting to the Chinese. The inscription on the stones are written in both Chinese and old-Turkic alphabet. As very little was known at the time about the latter, these stones turned into a sort of Rosseta Stone, allowing linguists and researchers to decrypt ancient Turkic scripts. We visit the site, and the nearby museum funded by the Turkish government as part of the Turkish historical and cultural claim over large parts of central Asia. From here it’s another short drive to Kharkhorin. Built by Ghengis Khan about 800 years ago, Kharkhorin, better known as Karakorum, was famed throughout Asia as the capital of the Mongol Empire. Within the walls of this spectacular city, kings were chosen, laws made, and the fate of the next city to be conquered were determined. We will visit the ruins of the old city, the Erdene Zuu monastery, and other historical monuments in the area. Overnight in a ger camp.

Day 4. Kharkhorin – Elsiin Tasarkhai – Ulaanbaatar

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch

We leave Kharkhorin, and take a one hour’s drive towards Elsiin Tasarkai sand dune. Marking the northern edge of the great Gobi Desert, Elsiin Tasarkhai stretches over 130 km north into the heart of Central Mongolia. We take a hike for a marvelous view over the dune, that seems as if it’s locked between two mighty mountain ranges. In the afternoon we embark on another 5-6 hours’ drive, arriving late in the evening back in the Mongolian capital city. Here we say farewell to our guide and driver as they bring us back at the hotel.

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Dates & Pricing

Discounted rates:
4 travelers – 10% discount 
6 or more travelers – 25% discount

  • Prices are based on twin share occupancy.
  • Applicable only for travel groups of 4 people or more booking their trip together.
  • The discounted price is the price for 2 people (below) less the discount.
  • Mongolian Ways Ltd. reserves the right to change tour prices and programs due to changes in flight schedule, changes in airfares, and other local circumstances.

  • $805 Per Person (From 2 people)
  • $74 Single Room Supplement

Additional Information


Inclusions
  • Accommodations as per program
  • All meals as per program (full board basis)
  • Private 4WD vehicle
  • Drinking water
  • Local English speaking guide
  • All entrance fees as per program
  • All transfers

Exclusions
  • Travel expenses to/from Mongolia
  • Travel Insurance
  • Mongolian visa
  • Excess Luggage
  • Gratuities
  • Expenses of personal nature (food and drinks beyond those provided, laundry, etc.)
  • Anything not clearly mentioned in the program

Accomodation
  • 3 nights in ger camps

Note: The listed hotels are tentative. Final hotel list shall be confirmed upon placing a booking and paying a deposit.


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